Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Preachin' the Word at the Seminary

To wrap up our busiest day in Rwanda, we found ourselves at the Baptist International Theological University. They asked if we would be willing to share a bit with the students. The class is held in French, so we had to have another interpreter other than Celestin. Not too big of a deal, but working with new translators can be difficult.

Before either of us started talking, Celestin introduced us. He took a long time "explaining" why we looked the way we looked and dressed the way we dressed (we forgot to wear our suit and ties :) ). Later Celestin told us that many pastor are very secluded to their denomination and can be very judgemental. Many pastors attend their congregations with suits. Anyway, Shane started with a couple of witty jokes. The only thing... no one was laughing (except me, I thought it was hilarious). People were straight faced as he shared stories. I then began to share with the same outcome. It was a little different for us, in that it was hard to read the crowd. Did they understand, or were things being lost in translation? It was hard to know. When we finished we had a time of question and answer. The first question was, "Who is Mother Teresa?" We were a bit taken back, they did not know Mother T? Celestin again reminded us that many pastors do not know "the Saints" outside of their own denominations.

The next question referred to a story I told about a kid dying without a name. The question, "So whats the big deal whether or not someone dies without a name?" The time of questions and answers was a fruitful one, and I feel we were able to make ourselves a little clearer. But the highlight of the night came when Celestin stood up and shared with the group. He basically shared much of what we shared, but they seemed to understand now. He shared how the Gospel is not about dressing up or which denomination we are a part of, but it is about loving God and loving our neighbor!

He told us that when we first got there, there were students laughing at us. He then stated that by the time we left, people were broken and God had visited us!

- chris lahr
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